Tag Archives: Quality Alerts

Desktop: Closeout Procedures

For VITA/TCE sites using the TaxSlayer Desktop product, they must back up their data before the end of the filing season to ensure the carryforward tax return data is available filing season 2018.  In addition, this can be used for any site running the TaxSlayer Desktop product to create a disaster recovery backup.

To complete this task, you will need a removable storage device, such as a flash drive or portable hard drive, for each computer you wish to backup.  Each device should have sufficient free space to store the entire TaxSlayer folder on the drive.

NOTE: CD/DVD cannot be used; the storage device must connect via USB.

The following steps can check TaxSlayer folder, file size:

  1. Open the File Explorer
  2. Double click on the C: drive (or drive where the software was loaded)
  3. Find the TaxSlayer folder and select it
  4. Right click on the TaxSlayer folder and a menu will appear
  5. Click on Properties
  6. This will show you the size of the TaxSlayer folder

Perform these steps with each Workstation to move files to the Transmitting Computer:

  1. Make certain that no returns are open in TaxSlayer on any computer
  2. Insert the storage device into a USB slot
  3. Make note of which drive letter is assigned to the storage device
  4. Start TaxSlayer and login to the 2016 TaxSlayer program
  5. Open the Utilities Menu – option 8
  6. Open the Program Backup Utility – option 5
  7. Make sure the Backup button is selected
  8. In the Target Drive drop down list select the drive letter assigned to your storage device
  9. Click the Start button
  10. When the backup is complete, the message “Backup Complete” will be displayed
  11. If any other message is displayed, repeat steps 1-10 until the “Backup Complete” message is displayed

From the Transmitting Computer:

  1. Upload all files from each workstation to the main transmitting computer
  2. Make certain that no returns are open in TaxSlayer on any computer, especially if you are using a server connection at your site
  3. Insert the storage device into a USB
  4. Make note of which drive letter is assigned to the storage device
  5. Start TaxSlayer and login to the 2016 TaxSlayer program
  6. Open the Utilities Menu – option 8
  7. Open the Program Backup Utility – option 5
  8. Make sure the Backup button is selected
  9. In the Target Drive drop down list select the drive letter assigned to your storage device
  10. Click the Start button
  11. When the backup is complete, the message “Backup Complete” will be displayed
  12. If any other message is displayed, repeat steps 1-10 until the “Backup Complete” message is displayed
  13. The USB device with taxpayer data must be secured and encrypted to prevent data loss per Quality Site Requirement #10, Partners and IRS certified volunteers are required to protect physical and electronic data gathered for tax return preparation both during and after the filing season

Removing/Uninstalling TaxSlayer Pro:

  1. Open task manager
  2. Click on the Services tab
  3. Right-click on “TaxProgram2016” and select “Stop”
  4. Open your Control Panel
  5. Locate Programs and Features
  6. Select Uninstall a Program
  7. Select your 2016 TaxSlayer Pro
  8. Click Uninstall
  9. Navigate to the drive where the TaxSlayer program was installed and delete the TaxSlayer folder

Secondary Backup Drive:

If you utilized the secondary backup drive, make sure you delete all information on the secondary backup drive and empty your recycle bin.

IRS Computer Depot Laptops:

Follow the procedures in Publication 4473, IRS Computer Loan Program – Welcome Package, for additional guidance on “Deletion of Software on IRS Computers”.  Whether using the TaxSlayer Online or Desktop product on IRS loaned computers, it is imperative to use the “disk wipe” procedure outlined Publication 4473, prior to returning the laptop to the Computer Depot.  In addition the TaxSlayer software and taxpayer data on non-IRS loaned computers, provided by sites or personal, should be wiped of taxpayer data after the site closes.

Pro Online: Closeout Procedures

For post filing season security, all users other than Admin, should be made inactive.  This will ensure no returns are being prepared off-season when the site is closed.

NOTE: As in the past, if you delete or deactivate returns on your site; you will not have carryforward data for those deleted or deactivated taxpayer returns next filing season.

TaxSlayer Online Closeout Procedures:

  1. Do not delete or inactivate any returns if carryforward tax return data is desired for the next filing season
  2. The TaxSlayer server will secure all data and make return carryforward data is year available for filing season 2018
  3. From the Preparer(s) Menu in Configuration, the site administrator or any user with a security template that has Add/Edit Preparers permissions has the ability to quickly activate or deactivate a preparer
  4. Select the volunteers you wish to deactivate while the site is close
  5. Ensure the ADMIN user is still active, prior to logging off

NOTE: Using “Flip Active Status” will deactivate all users including the ADMIN

 For additional guidance, follow the procedures outlined on the VITA/TCE Blog for making preparers Active/Inactive using TaxSlayer Pro Online.

IRS Computer Depot Laptops:

Follow the procedures in Publication 4473, IRS Computer Loan Program – Welcome Package, for additional guidance on “Deletion of Software on IRS Computers”.  Whether using the TaxSlayer Online or Desktop product on IRS loaned computers, it is imperative to use the “disk wipe” procedure outlined Publication 4473, prior to returning the laptop to the Computer Depot.  In addition the TaxSlayer software and taxpayer data on non-IRS loaned computers, provided by sites or personal, should be wiped of taxpayer data after the site closes.

QSRA: Policy Update on Expired ITIN

Purpose:  Provide guidance on how to assist taxpayers with an expired ITIN that also have a requirement to file tax returns.

Click here to view PDF

 

 

New IRA Self-Certification Procedure

Revenue Procedure 2016-47 provides a taxpayers the ability to make a written certification to a plan administrator or an IRA trustee that a contribution satisfies the conditions in Section 3.02 of this revenue procedure. This self-certification has the effects described in Section 3.04 of this revenue procedure.

Since this is an election the taxpayer must make to his/her administrator or trustee, this letter will not be available in the TaxSlayer software. Taxpayers may make the certification to a plan administrator or an IRA trustee by using the model letter located at:  https://www.irs.gov/irb/2016-37_IRB/ar09.html#d0e518.

A copy of the certification should be kept in the taxpayer’s files and be available if requested on audit.

Quality Alert Central

Quality Site Requirement Alerts (QSRA) and Volunteer Tax Alerts (VTA) will be posted to the Quality Alerts section.  This will allow you to have the most up to date communications from the IRS.